Learning How Much Braces Cost and Finding Payment Solutions

Finding out how much braces cost can be a shock to parents. Pricing varies depending on the type of braces, complexity of the treatment plan, and length of treatment needed. According to the New York Times, the average cost of braces falls between $3,000 and $7,000. Fortunately, there are usually ways to bring down the cost or at least spread out the expense with a payment plan.

Here are some ways to make paying for braces fit into the budget.


Not all dental plans cover braces, so check your policy. If you're in the market for a new plan, focus on the orthodontics coverage offered. Plans that do cover braces usually pay around 50 percent of the cost. Cutting the price in half can be a relief! If dental insurance isn't an option, dental discount programs offer savings of up to 20 percent on braces.

Credit Cards and Payment Plans

Some orthodontic offices offer discounts if you pay the entire bill up front. You can save even more by using a credit card that offers points or cash back for purchases.

Alternatively, most orthodontist offices offer financing options. Find out the interest rate and compare it to your credit card's rate. If the orthodontist's payment plan will save you money in interest, go with it.

Flexible Spending Accounts

If your employer offers this benefit, channel the maximum amount allowed into your flexible spending account (FSA). The money you put in the account is not taxed, which means your dollars will go further. Use these funds to pay for expenses not covered by insurance, including the cost of the braces, deductibles, and co-pays.

Seek Alternatives

If you live near a university with a dental program, check to see if they accept orthodontic patients. Some schools offer orthodontic treatment at highly discounted rates in exchange for allowing students to do the work. The students are supervised by licensed orthodontists.

Long-Term Benefits

Determining how much braces cost is more complicated than just figuring out a dollar amount. It's important to also take the benefits into consideration.

  • Improved appearance: Straight teeth improve the smile and facial appearance. This is good for self esteem and improved confidence.
  • Improved oral health: Braces straighten teeth. Straighter teeth are easier to clean. Correcting the bite reduces the likelihood of fractures and gum recession.
  • Improved oral function: Correcting the bite also reduces grinding and clenching. It improves the ability to chew and reduces jaw pain. It also reduces difficulty in producing certain sounds.

In most cases, you'll find that the benefits of braces far outweigh the cost. So, look into your options. You might find that the cost of braces may not be as alarming as you thought.

Learn more about braces in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Oral Care Tips Related to ADULT ORTHODONTICS

  • Flossing – creating a flossing routine is important during orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists and hygienists may recommend interdental brushes or floss threaders to make getting in between teeth easier.

  • Brushing routine – using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush are ideal for cleaning teeth with braces. Begin brushing at a 45-degree angle at the gum line using small circular motions. Then place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket. Finally, reposition the brush to brush the bottom of the bracket as well as the wire, angling the toothbrush up.

  • Fluoride mouthwash – after brushing and flossing, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent cavities and white spots.

  • Mouthguards – wear a mouthguard if you play sports. Mouthguards can protect your cheeks and lips from serious cuts and can prevent damage to your braces or orthodontic appliance if you fall down or are hit in the face.